GERMANY

Nick Spicer : Pressure is off for now for Merkel

A far-right party made strong gains in a pair of state elections in eastern Germany on Sunday, but mainstream opponents appeared set to salvage their position as the strongest parties in both regions, projections indicated. Voters in Saxony, a region of around 4.1 million people bordering Poland and the Czech Republic, and neighbouring Brandenburg, which has 2.5 million inhabitants and surrounds Berlin, elected new state legislatures.